Image serves many purposes. Record, Recollect, Reconsider; in today's society, we are perpetually inundated with images. Once image as memory was precious; now, we are swallowed wholly. Rich, crisp documentation of every mundane second of virtually every individuals' lives. Frame by frame of self-portraits, the figure; clothing, food, landscapes, commercialism, ego, vanity- with every frame cast into the digital void, we become unable to process the massive volume present at our fingertips.
My work is naturally a product of my identity as a millennial, growing up on the cusp of the internets' proliferation throughout society and, through it, the normalization of image not only as a source of documentation and preservation, but entertainment. It is not necessarily representative of that culture, but rather reminiscent of it - the internet, and the way it has shaped our society, is part of my narrative, and as such threads its influence throughout, in volume, in subject, in indulgence, etc.
Over the past year, I have taken at least 600 Polaroids, whose subject ranges from self, object, to the world at large, and whose thesis seeks to address mental health and trauma and their effects on our daily lives, as they become more increasingly recognized and accepted as a widely shared human condition.
It carries with it my love of narrative, but one whose linearity is constantly shifting, recalling the feebleness of human recollection.
It carries with it my love of tactility and totality; I think here of my fascination as a child with jars of buttons; with volumes and volumes of books and magazines; with cutting and pasting manga images into a notebook until I had filled its pages with a reconstructed universe; the same satisfaction I find in many such sorts of overwhelming information, details in drawings, textures in clothing, variations of color (think - Where's Waldo).
It carries with it the inextricable bond between my generation and the screen, and the quiet paradox that lies between the virtual and reality.
Each polaroid posses its' autonomy, and serves as a reminder of the eternal human desire to preserve, stop, change, define time, to grasp the universe around and within them, and their inability to do so.
The millions of images that create my mental archive can never be recreated or (truly, wholly) shared; however, through image, humanity makes its' attempt to further deepen its' understanding of databases to which we'll never have access.
Briana Coleman is a mixed media artist living and working in Philadelphia, PA. They received their BFA from Cornell University in 2018.